Saturday Cartoons……. An essay by William Marshall

A buddy of mine was telling me a story last night. We were reminiscing over an adult beverage and having what I call, “Story Time.” Chris tells me about how he used to love Saturday morning cartoons. He was remembering back to a time when cartoons came on TV once a week. No more than that. If you missed Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam on Saturday there was no VCR, DVD, or streaming service to provide a dose. They were long gone.

Chris was old enough to tote a hoe. Not the hoe we think about today, she would be too big for him and he wouldn’t know what to do with her. The hoe in question was more slender and had a rear end that was pointy. It also had a flat metal section up front for pulling weeds. When Chris started talking about the hoe, my buddy Randy next to me immediately pulled a muscle in his lower back. We laughed.

This particular Saturday morning, Little Chris really wanted to watch cartoons. He really did. It turns out that his granddaddy was out in the garden, “Hoeing a row.” That meant weeding the garden. Little Chris was very in tune with the Road Runner and the Coyote when his mom told him that he needed to go out and work with his Granddaddy in the garden. Little Chris didn’t think that this was the best use of his Saturday morning cartoon time. He would much rather do it later in the day. His mom finally motivated Little Chris enough to where he lumbered out and picked up his hoe to join Granddaddy in the garden. They hoe’d along there for a piece. All the while, Little Chris kept dreaming of how Elmer was chasing Wabbits and others were going to “love him and squeeze him and call him George.”

He hoe’d along with his Granddaddy for what seemed like hours and the cartoons were just too much. The draw was too big. The pull too strong. After a little while, he looked at his grandpa and said, “I’m going inside to watch cartoons. I can hoe this garden later this afternoon when cartoons are not on.” His wise grandpa, ever mindful of his loving daughter trying to raise this kid in the right way says to Little Chris, “I wouldn’t go back in there if I were you. I would just keep hoeing.” Little Chris wanted those cartoons though. They were drawing him in like the Siren’s Song of old. He dropped that hoe and sprinted inside. Cartoons were a calling!

It wasn’t long, Big Chris tells me now, before he was back out there beside his granddaddy with his hoe in hand. His backside was a little warmer from the minor paddling incident. His Grandpa had that kinda, “told ya so” look. Little Chris says that he saved a little face with his grandpa when he said, “the cartoons just weren’t that good this week anyway!”

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